There was a time when I avoided sketching flowers like “Orchids,” our prompt for today, because I didn’t think my style was gentle enough to make them look pretty. Mine is not a delicate or muted approach, but one with bold lines and often bolder colors. It took me two full months to get the courage to sketch my first flower, which ended up being just a tiny pink blossom hidden in the leaves of a banana tree. It was a shy way to approach things. And indeed, it wasn’t a delicate approach, but looking back, it had its own sort of interesting style. Early on, I was making far too many mental comparisons to others and failing to find the unique beauty in what I made. So, I would quietly avoid certain subjects that I was nervous to try. Today, I’m happy to say that I’ll now sketch anything, and that I love everything I make! And I think you should love everything you make as well! It’s all wonderful in some way or another, even when it doesn’t turn out as expected. Sometimes, in life and art, the unexpected can be even more wonderful.
Another one in my list of things I was “scared to sketch at first” was people. I got over that fear by simply sketching a few and it wasn’t so bad. That said, I don’t sketch humans now by choice, save the occasional appearance of Little Charlie. I prefer to add a creature of some kind to give my sketch a little life, allowing people to put themselves in the story. That is, of course, unless someone doesn’t like a particular creature that I’ve chosen. But the majority of my human stand-ins are dogs, cats, and birds. which most folks seem to enjoy. Looking back at my earliest entries, I could sense of lot of my own trepidation. The little fears that were always there looming over me as I tried sketching each new thing. I’d love to say that those fears went away entirely, but there are still some days when I’m less sure of myself. But, I can say that, these days, I’ve harnessed all of the courage of my inner child and no longer worry about anything I make. It’s not pure confidence, but it’s close enough to always get the job done each day.
As a kid, I had dreams so big they would probably never come true. Sometimes, as an adult, I find myself wanting to edit out dreams that just feel a bit impossible. Whether it’s because I lack the time or feel I may lack the skill to accomplish them, I attempt to hold myself back, at first. Truly, without that little voice of my inner child, I’d probably just move on to the next thing and never worry about those dreams again. But, thankfully, that voice returns, and unlike the adult voice, this one is rather quiet and unassuming. It’s the voice of a shy boy who simply says, “can we, at least, give it a try?” Each time, this feels like a revolutionary thought to me. While tirelessly going over scenarios and possible outcomes in my mind, once again, I’m reminded that there’s really only one way to find out if something is truly possible. So, today, I stay determined to keep dreaming those dreams that might never come true. Because, with just a little hope and practice, I’ve learned that I can do things I never imagined that I could. Some big things like producing movies or publishing books, but mostly just those little things, like grabbing a sketchbook and making flowers.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Red, Opus (Vivid Pink), Terra Cotta, and Ultramarine (Green Shade). Staedtler Pigment Liners in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
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